Dear Storyline, is there a template for writing websites, and if so, can you please share?

Super Excited Web Designer

This week on the Storyline Blog, we respond to fan mail. Here’s a heartfelt email from Super Excited, a web designer looking for ways to expand his website design package so that it includes copywriting.

Dear Storyline,

I’m just starting out in the web design business. I love designing and anything that involves graphics, but I hate (hate!) writing. I also know good copywriting is something most clients are looking for these days, so I want to be able to offer that as part of my package, too.

Here is what I want to ask you.

Because I’m not very familiar with how to write websites and because (important!) I don’t have a lot of time to spend on writing, editing or dealing with client feedback, do you have a template you can share with the community?


Super Excited

P.S. I read somewhere that you can write a website in an hour. Really?

Dear Super Excited,

Congratulations! It sounds like you’ve got an exciting few years ahead of you. Web design is a growing market that will definitely provide amazing creative opportunities and keep you busy. No wonder you’re looking for ways to streamline your creative process!

Unfortunately, writing is still writing, a wildly creative, and at times glorious, process that is more often than not just grueling and frustrating. It takes a lot of time and you’re always going to get—and need—feedback. If you know anything about Storyline Creatives, for instance, you know we work as a team, writing and editing, because two pairs of eyes are always better than one. Of course, I haven’t mentioned the client, but you’re going to be dealing with their feedback too. There’s just no way to avoid that.

Speaking of clients, every project you work on is going to be a little different. What makes projects different is usually the distinct audiences you’re writing for and their needs. While a lot of 5-7-page websites do have content overlap, (i.e. most have USPs, mission or vision statements, an about page, services, etc.), the ability to speak to sometimes fairly nuanced target audiences isn’t something that comes in a box. This is where creative writers usually have an edge. They have a lot of experience writing characters so can more easily slip into the shoes of potential users.

So in answer to your question: No, there is no template for writing quality websites.

Finally, you ask if it’s possible to write a website in an hour. Let me ask you this. Have you ever seen the Pope in speedos?

Great talking to you and we wish you the best of luck with all your future projects.

The Storyline Team